Norman Fucking Rockwell! A Lana Del Rey Album Review



On August 30, Lana Del Rey made her loyal cherry emoji Twitter fanbase cry once more with the release of her fifth studio album, Norman Fucking Rockwell! Her previous, Lust For Life (2017), was a masterpiece with a solid pound of trap music, summer bops and Stevie Nicks. This time, she brought us a ton of piano, songs to cry to and butterflies. She paid homage to her past and found hope in her present, and succeeded.

The opening track, of the same name, begins with easy and nostalgic chords as she swoons over a troubled man-child. She resorts to telling the man-child that he is nothing but a naive man after arising from a mist of angelic harps. Immediately, you know that you are in for a melodic and philosophical record. She continues to deliver deep and personal lyrics with hushed breathy vocals for the next tracks, but leaves us in euphoric awe with “Venice Bitch” as she does something she hasn’t yet.

Thanks to the dynamic team of Lana and singer-songwriter Jack Antonoff, the nearly ten minute track was created and blessed my ears with its heavenly transitions. They delivered a track with various instruments and sounds that flowed together in a way that makes you want to stare at beaches in a car ride, cry and pretend you are in a dramatic music video. Not that I do that often.

The obvious highlight of the record “Fuck it I love you” is a Californian beauty. A track that shines with somber excellence from its bass, with Lana pleading us to dream a little dream of her. A truly flawless track. The bridge, specifically when she tells us how fucked up she is, will give you goosebumps and make you feel like you’re driving down Pacific Coast Highway at sunset. This standout track is nothing less than a beauty and the music video is a solid testament of that claim.

The next track is a stellar Sublime cover of “Doin’ Time” followed by the saddest song she has done since “Video Games” from her second studio album with “Love Song.”

Lana brings us heaven on earth with track 7, “Cinnamon Girl.” The song feels like a five-minute high as she takes us back to her famed Born to Die era. In looking at the ornate songwriting skills she has, this is the best track. You feel every word, feel her transcendent vocals and are taken to a new dimension with this song’s production.

There are no tracks that deserve to be skipped, neither are there tracks that have flaws. This is truly a testament of alternative excellence as we hear Lana play with her sound in a way that delivered nothing but sheer creativity in experimentation.

These three highlighted tracks alone don’t sufficiently encapsulate the nautical California that Lana showed us, so my recommendation is that you start to play the 14-track record on repeat. Whether you listen to this album on your favorite streaming platform, in your car, on your record player or even on your cassette player… be sure to have tissues nearby, because as soon as she says, “Goddamn manchild,” your eyes will begin to water. You probably won’t be sad, you’ll just be so damn happy that Lana Del Rey gave the world Norman Fucking Rockwell.

Ivan Vicente Manriquez (he/him/his)

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